About the Project as explained by Project Manager, Peter Mark.

Now that Cuba and the U.S. are building relationships in many fields including the arts, we have the opportunity to set up an ongoing program to help develop the tradition of opera in Cuba in their glorious opera house — Gran Teatro de la Habana.

Our initial 10-day opera masterclass trip to Cuba May 10-20 via Copperbridge put Peter Mark as opera coach and conductor, and Lucy Arner — Cuban-born opera coach, pianist, and conductor — in touch with most of the prominent Cuban opera singers, teachers, and administrators — both at the professional and university level. While we worked daily with some extraordinary Cuban singers — some with world-class vocal instruments — the guidance that we as outside professionals brought to them daily was enthusiastically welcomed, received, and appreciated.

This initial trip has set up the groundwork for the continuing project very well.

As a result of this initial “working” trip, we now know what is needed to help in the full realization of that Cuban opera talent and in opera development in general in Cuba — and are tailoring our annual return trips to meet those needs. This project now has the enthusiastic and knowledgeable support of some very key people in Cuba: Dr. Roberto Chorens Dotres — Director of Teatro Lirico Nacional de Cuba-Habana; Dr. Francisco Alonzo Diaz –General & Artistic Director of Teatro Lirico “Ernesto Lecuona” in Pinar del Rio’ MSC. Maria del Rosario Hernandez Iznaga– Dean of ISA; Ivette Betancourt – head of Opera and Vocal Studies at ISA; Soprano Barbara Llanes; Maestra Maria Eugenia Barrios; and Maestro Giovanni Duarte — conductor of Ballet & Opera, and Lic. Ernesto Eduardo Gonzales Lopez — Vice Director Technico Artistico — both of Gran Teatro de la Habana.

We are grateful to Copperbridge and especially to Lauren Cleto Herrera for helping set up this very successful trip.

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